Review: Dreaming of the Duke

Dreaming of the DukeGenre: Historical Romance

Rating: YAY!

Eva Devon is a new, hilarious voice in historical romance. This book is the quintessential ‘if it can go wrong, it will’.

Let’s start with the players: Cordelia Eversleigh, Duchess of Hunt. She’s a married virgin who wants to shed her marital status for freedom. There’s the Duke of Hunt, Jack Eversleigh, who’s known for debauching women in a blink an eye and neither caring or bothering to manage his estates or fortune. Secondary players include a take-no-prisoners Dowager Duchess of Hunt, a good-looking, sinful twin brother, and a couple other Dukes I can’t wait to read about.

Now for the plot: There’s shenanigans, a load of them, from all directions and all aimed at the intelligent and surprising Cordelia. Everyone wants her to do something: stay married, submit to seduction, or abandon her husband for greener pastures. It’s also apparent that Cordelia exists as a challenge and to men who can have anything or anyone a challenge is the perfect prescription.  This book covers off on some much crazy and spoke to me because I’m a heroine with more brains than beauty. I love seeing the geek get the guy, and the guy being inspired by her smarts then scared of them. With plenty of conflict amid expectations/responsibilities, coupled with a good shift between challenges for the hero and challenges for the heroine.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. This is the second one in the series and I enjoyed it more than the first. I’d say Devon is building momentum and can’t wait for the Duke to appear. If you want a book with historical elements that will make you laugh and exclaim “what can go wrong now?”, this is the book for you.

Here’s the buy links so you can grab your copy:

Amazon

Amazon Uk

Kobo

iBooks

Barnes and Noble

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Review: Eden – Landra’s Take

Genre: Sci-Fi

Rating: Maybe

It’s 2022, there’s still war and natural disasters and disease have taken its toll on the world. A group of people find themselves the sole survivors of a plan crash. They are shoved into situations that require quick thinking, tsunamis, volcanoes, lack of food and water, dangerous mountain treks, and much more. The amazing part is the majority of them survive thanks to the survival-trained, ex-special forces Noah, his WHO doctor wife, Evelyn, and several other characters including a young woman with startling psychic abilities.

What I liked: The characters were interesting. Different talents, different histories and Holley gives readers a chance to get to know most of them really well. Histories, methodologies, and core beliefs are shared. I was invested in Noah and Evelyn’s future 100%. I found characters to love and some to hate to love. I loved the suspense of not really knowing what challenge would come next. Every time I thought things would go a certain way they went the opposite, which was a pleasant surprise. The science and futuristic ideas of Earth in 2022, these elements were cool and I enjoyed Holley’s developed history, including the technologies available to us.

What I didn’t like: There was a lot of flashbacks, info-dump, and telling that slowed the pacing of the story down. Yes, I did get more tidbits about the characters themselves, but I would’ve been able to stay connected to the story better without as many. My only other huge complaint would be the editing job, tense jumping was a bit too frequent and jarring; causing me to re-read sentences in an attempt to understand who’s POV I was living in. Also, I didn’t like the end of the story. I won’t say why because it’s a personal thing, nothing against the writing or story at all.

Overall, this is one of those books that readers need to make their own decision on. I’m invested in the characters so I’m definitely up for reading the next book, and though I had a few issues with this story other readers may not have the same problem.

Purchase a copy at:

Amazon

This Week’s Read: Eden by David Holley

eden_cover updated final for smashwordsAfter enduring a horrific plane crash, a small group of survivors must work together in order to withstand the harshest conditions imaginable in the remote wilderness of New Zealand’s South Island.
 
The year is 2022, and their epic journey, fraught with danger and mystery, will alter the course of human history forever.
 
Led by charismatic Special Forces captain Noah Lockheart and his wife Evelyn, an accomplished scientist, the band of weary travelers must battle the elements along with their fears, as they race toward civilization, and their hope for rescue.
 
Among the survivors is Mia Sinclair, an extraordinary girl who can glimpse the future.  Through their trials, the Lockhearts begin to uncover the girl’s ability in spite of her best efforts to keep it hidden. But even as Mia proves to be an invaluable ally, her gift comes at an unbearable cost.  
 
Each step brings them closer to salvation– and to unraveling the mystery of their abandonment. But just when they think they are saved, they realize that they have never been farther from home.

Eden is a bold, heart-pounding page-turner, told through the seamlessly shifting perspectives of the eccentric band of survivors. As the thriller unfolds, so do the survivors’ inextricable links to one another in a plot rife with twists and turns, till the very end.

Author Interview: Liz Long

Liz LongToday I have the author of The Gifted here to answer a few questions I had about her first Donovan Circus Novel. I didn’t pull any punches and I hope my questions spark some more interest in her work. 🙂 Without further ado:

1. This book involved a wide range of characters, yet you only told the story from the first person perspective of Lucy. What was your motivation for that POV? 
 I’ve always been more comfortable writing in first person so when I started writing my first book, it was just a natural decision. I wanted a strong female character who was well aware of her talents and what she could do, but I wanted her to be reintroduced to the gifted world in a way that would still give readers explanations as to how everything worked. Plus, she’s a good girl, learning about all new bad things, and I wanted to show the progression of her coming in, new and naive, while at the end, she’s a bit tougher and knows she should be careful about who she trusts – while still retaining her optimistic attitude about things.
2. I love all the powers and descriptions of the different abilities. Do you plan at some point to offer a glossary of the different powers within this universe?
 I actually do have a glossary listed on my website! It’s only the beginning of what powers I’ve thought about and even includes a couple that aren’t from GIFTED and instead are from another story based in a gifted world.
3. You also recently released a second book, Witch Hearts, which sounds really interesting a bit different than The Gifted. Is this book set in the same universe as the characters from Donovan Circus? 
 Witch Hearts is completely different from Gifted – it’s a stand alone title and is about a serial killer hunting witches for their powers. Same idea of magic, murder, and mystery, but with a completely different world and group of characters.
4. In The Gifted, Lucy finds herself at the center of a love triangle. While we see a ton of love triangles in young adult books and a few in New Adult, I was surprised there was one. I really thought Lucy was gonna go for Gabriel all the way. Was this planned or is this how the story progressed? 

 Honestly, it’s just how it progressed. When originally writing Gifted, Lucy was supposed to end up with Keegan (or at least show interest and hints at a future relationship). However, when I started writing the relationship between Lucy and Gabriel, I found myself liking their chemistry more and more. He’s not afraid to call her out and make her face reality, while she brings out a side of him that he didn’t realize he had. Plus, their conversations are really fun to write! It was a natural progression that made sense to me – and to a lot of readers as they told me how much they loved Gabriel! People keep asking me who she chooses and sometimes I go back and forth so much that I don’t even know yet!
5. In the book Lucy and several of the other circus performers speak of the comic book series The X-Men and compare themselves to characters. I take it X-Men was a bit of the inspiration for the idea, but what other inspirations did you have for this novel and what future plans are there for The Donovan Circus? 
 X-Men was certainly an inspiration, though I try to deviate as much as possible from that world. The group acknowledges their similar powers to the comic books (a completely tongue in cheek mention), but that’s as far as I wanted it to go. I’m a visual person, so along with the PBS documentary “Circus,” I definitely watched a lot of YouTube videos of circus acts or Cirque de Soleil to get ideas for the performances!
The Donovan Circus is meant to be a series, so there will definitely be more books! I am hoping to have the second title out in late 2013, early 2014. Because of what Lucy’s done to protect her circus family, there will be repercussions heard around the gifted world. It brings other enemies out of the shadows and hints at a bigger fight than Lucy or even the Donovan group. She’ll also have to accept her family history and what it means to be Lenny Sullivan’s Firestarter daughter. Let’s just say that in the second book, Lucy and her friends will be taking a road trip, where, as usual, there are more problems than answers!
I can’t wait to see what comes next for Lucy and her friends for sure. Thank you for dropping by Liz.
The Gifted is available at:
Also check out The Gifted on Goodreads

Liz Long is lucky enough to have a dream career in magazine publishing as an editor and writer, yet still have time to create adventures on the side. If you catch her staring off into space or talking to herself, don’t worry – it’s just her imagination at work.

Liz graduated from Longwood University with a BA in English, though her professors might be disappointed to hear she reads more fantasy fiction than literary novels. She also loves action and thriller genres. This book probably won’t change your life, but she hopes it steals you away from reality for a while. 

Her newest release, Witch Hearts, will be for sale on Amazon on April 30th. Her first book, Gifted, a Donovan Circus Novel, is also available for paperback and Kindle on Amazon.

To learn more about Liz, visit her website: http://lizclong.com

Author Links:

Website: http://lizclong.com

Twitter: (Handle: @LizCLong) https://twitter.com/#!/LizCLong

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/lizclongauthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/LizLong

This Week’s Read: The Gifted by Liz Long

GiftedCoverWebEven in a world of freaks, being a Firestarter is considered a dangerous Gift.

Lucy was born with the ability to create and control fire. She longs to leave the human world for one filled with Earthshakers, Transporters, and Chameleons, to name a few. When she rejoins the circus, it’s everything she hoped it could be—new friends, a potential love interest or two, and a place where she can be herself.

When troupe members begin turning up dead, however, Lucy is suspected of foul play. She must not only prove her innocence but also realize the full extent of her power. To find the real murderer, she must uncover the truth behind her father’s fiery legacy while figuring out whom to trust within her new circle. Little does she know the history of the Donovan Circus and its enemies might actually destroy the entire gifted world.

The Gifted: A Donovan Circus Novel is available at:

Amazon

Review: Whistle Down The Wind- Landra’s Take

Genre: Historical/Paranormal Romance

Rating: Yay! 

I’m a sucker for a good romance, especially a historical one; add in magic and dark druids, and I’m sold!

This is the first book in Stone’s Mystic Moon series. The story center’s around the second to oldest of four sisters, Catlin Glyndwr, and her determination to avoid the hangman’s noose and find a future for her family without persecution. She seeks safe passage to the New World via an escort in Sir Griffin Reynolds. Griffin accepts, with a little coercion, and these pair set out on a journey that will challenge their ability to offset attraction as well as stay alive. Set in the mid-1600s, at a time when people, especially women, were accused of witchcraft without provocation, Stone allows readers to explore what life was like for those of the time and for a real witch.

Catlin is feisty  and a powerful witch able to summon gusts of air and storms with little difficulty. I liked Catlin. She’s a heroine with loyalty, empathy, and dedication to her tasks. This woman can also take care of herself, which for a female in the 1600s is pretty impressive. Her growth comes from trusting others with her secrets, being independent from her family, and opening herself up to the possibilities of love.

Witches are commonly known as adepts in Catlin’s world, and each one has a certain power and spirit creatures who assist them. For Catlin it’s a group of slyphs or elemental’s of air that work with her to execute her spells. These little creatures ask for all manner of shiny baubles when they help out. Her sister, Aelwyd, it’s a group of fire dragons. The sad part is Stone only gives a slice of the mythology behind the witch craft and the sister’s enemies, the dark druids, in this first book. I found myself really wanting more information in this area. The mythos of the world in which the sisters dwell is what I really desired.

The hero, Sir Griffin Reynolds, is a hunk. I liked his ability to play the rogue, but when it came to playing hero, I felt like he got shafted. In multiple situations Catlin was the one rescuing him, instead of the normal hero rescues heroine type of story. While Griffin doesn’t do much rescuing, he does assist Catlin in learning more about love and sensual practices; so, in that way he’s a hero. His character his fleshed out pretty well, but my only hiccup, this may or may not be major, is that Griffin’s secret reason for traveling to the New World is never revealed.

Overall, this is a good book with a bit of true history mixed with some paranormal elements. You’ve got a good cast of characters and a heroine that does some major butt kicking; without a sword I might add.

Whistle Down The Wind is available at:

Smashwords

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

This Weeks Read: Whistle Down The Wind by Sibelle Stone

whistle down the wind

Arrested for using her magical powers to protect herself, Catlin Glyndwr faces the hangman’s noose. Descended from a long line of elemental witches, she can control the wind and weather. But the worst thing that can happen in 1664 England is to be charged with practicing of witchcraft. Especially when the accusation is true.

Sir Griffin Reynolds is visiting his closest childhood friend before embarking on a secret mission for King Charles II to the New World. When his friend becomes deathly ill while interrogating a beautiful woman accused of witchcraft, Griffin accepts her offer of help. In exchange for her freedom, she’ll heal his friend.

When Griffin and Catlin embark on a journey to Virginia to save the colony, they succumb to the temptation of a white hot passion that blazes between them. But a Dark Druid stalks Catlin, and if he can’t possess her and her magic — no man will.

A beautiful witch discovers there’s more than one way to be wicked!

Get a copy of Whistle Down The Wind at:

Smashwords

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

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